UCAT Abstract Reasoning
Advice & Insight From UCAT Specialists
Abstract Reasoning assesses your ability to identify patterns amongst abstract shapes where irrelevant and distracting material may lead to incorrect conclusions. Hence, it is essential to use a systematic approach (eg. BlackStone Tutors 3 Step Approach to Abstract Reasoning & NASSSS) to distinguish relevant from distracting content.
UCAT Abstract Reasoning Question Types
Type 1 (Most Common)
You will be presented with two sets of shapes labelled “Set A” and “Set B”. You will be given a test shape and asked to decide whether the test shape belongs to Set A, Set B, or Neither.
You will be presented with a series of shapes. You will be asked to select the next shape in the series.
You will be presented with a statement, involving a group of shapes. You will be asked to determine which shape completes the statement.
You will be presented with two sets of shapes labelled “Set A” and “Set B”. You will be asked to select which of the four response options belongs to Set A or Set B.
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UCAT Abstract Reasoning Time Per Question
11 Sets with 5 Shapes/Questions for Each (ie. 55 Questions)
Time for each question = 12 Seconds
Important Abstract Reasoning Information
Questions increasingly combine two or more rules. At the same time, don’t be put off by ‘multiple rules’ – this often gives you additional opportunities to obtain a correct answer, as by detecting even one simple rule, you can often obtain the answer.
In order for a rule to be correct, it has to be applicable to both sets eg. If all boxes in set A have 3 shapes, for this to be used as a rule/part of a rule, all the boxes in set B must have a set number (eg. 2/4/5) of shapes. If they have varied number of shapes in set B, the number of shapes cannot be a rule.
Can the same rules be used more than once? Yes, just because number of shapes came up in the previous question, it does not mean it cannot come up in the following question. (Sequence of questions is normally through random computer generation)
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Why Abstract Reasoning?
When considering possible diagnoses, medical practitioners may be presented with a set of symptoms and/or results. Some information may be more reliable, more relevant and clearer than other information. Doctors and Dentists need to make judgements about such information, identifying the information which will help them reach conclusions. Carrying out research involving data often involves identifying patterns in results in order to generate further hypotheses.
UCAT Abstract Reasoning Practice Questions
Shape 1: correct answer is B (Set B). Following on from the pattern rules, because the star is black and the arrow is pointing to the left, this shape fits Set B.
Shape 2: correct answer is A (Set A). Here, the star is white and the arrow points to the right, hence fitting Set A.
Shape 3: correct answer is A (Set A). The arrow is pointing to the left and the star is black, hence it fits Set A.
Shape 4: correct answer is B (Set B). The arrow is pointing to the left and the star is white, hence fitting Set B.
Shape 5: correct answer is C (Neither). The arrow is facing upwards, which doesn’t fit with either pattern, hence the answer is C.
Shape 1: correct answer is C (Neither). There is only one shape here, a triangle, and there is no sense of comparison between it and another shape, hence it doesn’t fit into either set.
Shape 2: correct answer is B (Set B). There are two shapes here, a hexagon (6 sides) and a circle (1 side); the hexagon is to the left of the circle, hence it fits onto Set B. As the hexagon is above the circle, it could not fit onto Set A.
Shape 3: correct answer is C (Neither). There are two shapes here, a pentagon and a square, with the pentagon below and to the left of the square. This would fit the pattern of Set A; however, as the pentagon (with more sides) is to the left of the square, it also fits onto Set B. Thus, overall, it fits no shape.
Shape 4: correct answer is A (Set A). There is an arrow (7 sides) and a star (10 sides). As the arrow is above the star, the shape fits onto Set A; as the arrow is to the left of the star, the shape cannot fit onto Set B.
Shape 5: correct answer is B (Set B). Here, there is a rectangle (4 sides) to the left of two circles (1 side), with the circles being on the same horizontal level. This fits in with Set B, and as there is no real difference in vertical level between the shapes, the shape does not fit onto Set A.